San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith completed 18 of his 19 pass attempts on Monday night against the Arizona Cardinals. That's some exceptional work, but it doesn't quite measure up to NFL record standards. The league requires a minimum of 20 attempts to qualify for a completion-percentage record.
The 49ers had tried to argue that Smith's pass to Michael Crabtree to start the fourth quarter should count as an attempt, but the league determined that the play (see above video) was a lateral and thus a run by Crabtree. The 49ers also tried to appeal on a pass interference call where Smith tried to throw to Mario Manningham, but that appeal came up short as well.
The decision by the Elias Sports Bureau, which monitors the NFL's stats, means that Kurt Warner retains the highest completion percentage in a game. As PFT notes, in 2009, Warner went 24 for 26 against Jacksonville (of course) for a 92.31 percent completion rate. Had the NFL counted Smith's pass to Crabtree as a completion, he'd have posted a 95 percent completion percentage.
So, no NFL record for Smith this week. That meant he had to go back to his job as a chauffeur, this time shuttling around somebody named "Matt Cain" from an organization known as the "Giants":
Eh, it's a living.